Re: [87attendees] SIM purchase at the IETF (was Re: [87all] IETF 87 Berlin Meeting Review)

Mary Barnes <> Sat, 17 August 2013 18:18 UTC

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Date: Sat, 17 Aug 2013 13:18:43 -0500
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From: Mary Barnes <>
To: Bob Hinden <>
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Cc: 87 attendees <>, Keith Moore <>
Subject: Re: [87attendees] SIM purchase at the IETF (was Re: [87all] IETF 87 Berlin Meeting Review)
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On Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 12:51 PM, Bob Hinden <> wrote:

> Keith,
> On Aug 16, 2013, at 9:33 AM, Keith Moore <>
> wrote:
> > On Aug 16, 2013, at 11:57 AM, Dave Crocker <> wrote:
> >
> >>   The IAOC should pursue having a local SIM card rental booth at future
> IETF meetings.  The card choices should represent locally competitive costs
> and services.
> >
> > I never cease to be amazed at IETF participants' willingness to demand
> more and more free services from event organizers.
> > That said, I would certainly find it useful to have cheap SIM cards
> easily available, but probably only if accompanied by English language
> support.  It wouldn't necessarily have to be at the conference site.  A
> pointer to a nearby store or one at the local airport would probably be
> sufficient.
> Good points.
> Personally, I doubt the economics would make selling SIMs on site
> worthwhile for an SIM vendor.  What percentage of attendees would do buy a
> SIM (requires an unlocked phone, motivation, etc.)?   Would that generate
> enough revenue for the seller to have someone on site for a day or two?
[MB] We don't have answers to these questions because we haven't tried it.
 It would seem to be something easy to try in Vancouver since apparently
there are several shops nearby. Asking one or two of those vendors to send
someone to spend Sunday afternoon and Monday maybe wouldn't seem to be too
much of a burden for them and if they aren't getting decent business, they
can just leave. /MB]

> If the IAOC took this on, it would map into asking the Secretariat to
> organize this, which would map into increased costs for all of us.
[MB] So I guess your response is that this isn't something the IAOC is
willing to consider despite the fact that there were several +1s that it
might be helpful? I agree 100% that the secretariat already does a lot of
work at IETF meetings.   And, we have continued to add to that burden over
the years with newcomer's meet 'n greet, Bits 'n bytes, etc.  So, it would
be good I think to evaluate the pros and cons before totally dismissing
this suggestion.  Much in the same way that Bits 'n Bytes was started as a
trial as it was deemed something that might benefit the community, I would
think trying out this idea for one or two meetings is not unreasonable.

> I think would be better to collect information on where to buy a SIM on
> the meeting Wiki.   We clearly have some experts on this topic in the IETF.
[MB] That information would be helpful.  Some of the concerns raised,
however, were around cases where the IETF attendees did not speak the local
language While the usual response is that many people in European cities,
for example, speak English, not all IETF participants have English as a
first language.   So, while knowing where the shop is can be helpful, it
doesn't solve the problem of being able to communicate what one wants and
needs, and getting a fair price.   Also, my understanding was the folks
that would benefit the most were those that weren't staying at the main
IETF hotels with a high quality Internet connection.  We all know that
there are a lot of crappy hotel networks out there and that a good network
is imperative for all of us in getting our work done. So, making it a
little easier for folks to get these SIM cards would seem to be a good
thing to me and not an unreasonable service to ask the IAOC to work with
the secretariat in obtaining.   The other option of course would be for the
"experts on this topic" to be willing to go with the folks that are not
experts and that don't speak the local language to assist them in their
purchase.    [/MB]

> Bob
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